Review of Episode 1 of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D…

So Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D premiered on Channel 4 tonight…

If you’re not aware of the hype – here’s the trailer…

The series has the potential to be really very very good indeed – The effective premis of Heroes (and to a lesser extent Smallville) with Joss Whedon involved. Certainly it’s the case that the bar is set really very high indeed. …and I’ll admit that the pilot – while it didn’t blow me away in the way that Firefly’s pilot did – does feel fairly solid at a piece of TV.

There certainly things that will tighten up over the course of a series – the script is keeping its options open on Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) – at times he’s doing the comic relief, and at times he’s the serious angry motivator, and until a side is picked it’s going to be a little untidy.

There are scenes that could have been dropped to make room for a little character developement – it’s a joy to see Ron Glass pop in in a lap coat, but we could have waited until next week. Similarly ‘s Mission Impossible-esce entrance count  have literally have started with him opening the safe, unless it’s going to be a massive plot point later on that he can ride a motorbike and speak french.

I have views on ‘hacking’ and technology as portrayed in TV, but I’m willing to give a comic book show a reasonable pass on that – and in fact the banter between Elizabeth Henstridge and Iain De Caestecker is charming enough to carry through. Although, even for a TV show world in which everyone is pretty, it’s tricky to accept Elizabeth Henstridge as a bio-nerd and Chloe Bennet as a computer hacker who lives in a van (to the credit of the script – they at least lampshade this a little).

My big worry with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D (reinforced by the 8pm timeslot) is that it’s going to miss its chance of being a complex dark and edgy interpretation of consequence in a comic book universe, in favour of being CSI with some pretty graphics.  Let us not forget – for all we talk of  Heroes – it’s real closest relation is Birds of Prey

 

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